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Smoking Cheese in Char-Griller w/ sfb

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Smoked our winter supply of cheese yesterday and the fridge smells GREAT when you open it!  LOL

Tillamook Cheddar, Provolone, Havarti, and American white cheese.

 

I cut them larger than normal, rather big.  But I also smoked them for longer time, to get a good smoke on them.  Havarti for 3 hours, and the rest for 4 1/2 hours.  AMNPS going the whole time with Pitmaster blend,  and some more cherry on top.  Todd is a genius!

 

I plan to leave them vac-packed for at least 2 months before opening.  I'm hoping the smoke will absorb further into the rather large pieces more with the additional time in storage, along with the longer smoke time.

 

I'm using a Char-Griller Smokin' Pro, horizontal, side fire box unit for smoker.  I started off with AMNPS on left, near the chamber opening and charcoal on right near intake vent.  AMNPS kept going out.  So I reverse the set up to AMNPS on right near the intake vent and coals near the chamber opening.

Worked much better.  Never had to relight the tray again.

 

I added lit lump pieces one or two at a time to keep chamber between 65* to 80*.  Mostly it held at 70*-75* except for 10- 15 minutes at 80*, but it soon dropped again.  No sweat on cheese after bringing in and cooling on table, and no sweat in fridge, covered loosely with saran, over sheet pan full.  Not wrapped up, just draped over it, sides open for air moisture control.  Will vac pack tomorrow, and if I think of it, maybe some Q-view, to final results.

 

How do you do your smoked cheese in Char-griller?

post #2 of 10

Sounds like you did a good job, did you take any pictures?

FWIW I have not smoked any cheese, ever.

Did you put the cheese directly on the cooking grates?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cliff.

 

I do not put them directly on grates.  I don't want any residue from grates to color them.  I use racks and Q-MATZ.

You could put them directly on the grate though if you want those grill mark on them.  Just make sure to sterilize grates with high heat, and let cool fully, before adding cheese. No problem.

 

Now you've got me thinking Cliff. 

Maybe I will try the directly on grate thing, just to impress family and friends with the grill marks.  LOL

 

I didn't get any pic's of them in the smoker, or just out, of smoker, but I will post a pic of them before I vac-seal them.  I've been lazy for the past week, so they are still in fridge in zip locks.  I'll get to vac-packing them very soon, and take pic's.

 

Here is some pic's of my first ever smoked cheese

If you're doing a lot of different cheeses, toothpick labels are a godsend if you are over 50!  I'm much over 50.  LOL

I now only try to do 2 or 3 different ones at a time.  Color or shape will tell me what I have.

 

Also. that first time,  she bought a hunk of same Tillmook Cheddar Cheese from the store, to compare to my very first home smoked. 

That's a pretty tough test, on a guy doing his first ever cheese smoke.  LOL 

We both tasted tested later, and mine beat the store bought smoked cheese, hands down!   Same cheese, same store.  Do it yourself.  It's better!

 

I LOVE Smoking cheese!  It's the easiest smoke you can do!    Just keep chamber temp between 50* to 75* for 4 hours or so, and you're good.  Adjust your smoking times to your liking for smoke strength.   No mess, no fuss.  Just check once in awhile to make sure that the AMNPS is still going okay.  That's it!

Then seal and wait for a month or so, before using. 

 

It only takes a very few coals added 1-3 at a time to keep temp steady.  More if it's windy, or really cold outside.   If you do it on a day that is above 55*-65* and sunny,, you probably won't  need nothing but the AMNPS, as the sun will keep chamber up around 60* - 70* because the CG is black, and absorbs direct sunlight heat.

In cold and/or windy weather, you are always lighting a few coals to keep in reserve, ready to add.  Small price to pay.

 

 

Once you've made your own smoked cheese, you'll never go back to un-smoked, or even smoked cheese, from the store again!

It's hard to describe.  It isn't overly smoky flavor, but it adds such flavor depth to the cheese.  It seems to make it come alive.

Even people who say they don't like smoked cheese, will like it.  Chances are they only had store smoked cheese that is sprayed with liquid smoke.  It is no contest.

 

Case in point. 

I smoked some American Cheese.  After the waiting period of a month or so, I opened a pack for my wife, who loves American Cheese.  She used to buy it all the time. 

After she used some of the smoked, over a year ago now, she has never bought anymore high priced American singles again.

 

In fact, I left some store bought American Cheese that she had bought beforehand, in the fridge for months afterwords.  

She never touched it, and I finally threw it out.  LOL   ...   True story.  And I. who basically, hates American cheese, likes this stuff now too.

 

To this day, she had not bought another package of American Cheese, or Havarti home. 

She only buys me hunks of the stuff, and tells me to get smoking.  LOL

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 


Here is that photo for you Cliff. 

 

I chose a White American cheese, so you can better see the slight color change, after smoking and being packaged in fridge a few days, before I vac packed it for long term storage.

 

post #5 of 10
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post #6 of 10
post #7 of 10

So three hunks of cheese. Pepper jack, sharp cheddar and soft Colby
My AMNPS with pitmaster a choice and 4 hours at 28 degrees... A great project will taking down xmas ornaments..
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

28*?  Wow!  That is cold, Lemans!

 

Was that the temp outside, or was it also the temp inside the smoker? 

Or maybe you were using Celsius? which would be around 80* F.  That would be on the very high end of cheese smoking temp.

 

If inside smoker temp, and was Fahrenheit, than you probably will have very lightly smoked cheese.  I like to keep my smoker between 55*F and 70*F if I can.

Just be sure to keep it under 80* F. for sure.  I've only hit the 80* mark once and opened lid to cool it down quick back to 70*.  It didn't seem to hurt it any for that short burst of heat for a 3-5 minutes.

 

The cheese seems to absorb more smoke between the 60*-75* mark.  I have smoked it at 40*-45* but I got a lighter smoke flavor.

That's not a bad thing, just lighter.

 

The good thing about smoking cheese is... you can ALWAYS eat your mistakes, and they will still be good! (Well, unless you melted it.)

Now that is not true for smoking other things.  I've had to trash a couple of things I have screwed up badly, but never cheese.  LOL

 

Post your after smoke pic's when you can, and clear up the temp thing for me too.  Thanks.

 

I like the pic of your TBS.


Edited by fpmich - 1/4/15 at 1:07am
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ahhh... I had to find your first post in the forums, to learn you are from CA.  You might want to edit your profile a bit.  It helps people to understand your weather and temps, & etc.

Yesterday must have been a cold day for out there to only be 28* F.

 

I checked the forecast for your area, and daytime temps are to be in mid 60's for a few days.  Perfect!

Now you can do a side by side test.  Just buy a hunk of same kind of cheese and smoke it in the daytime with the AMNPS for same times, during the higher ambient temps of 60*-65* F.  Then after the month to 6 week wait.  Cut slices from your first batch, and from this second batch.

Try them out side by side, and you will learn your preference.  Both batches done being done close together will give you a good test.

 

My sister-in-law recently asked my brother; "Is there anything that Frank cooks, that isn't smoked?". 

"Why would he?", was his reply.  LOL


Edited by fpmich - 1/4/15 at 1:49am
post #10 of 10
Yea it was 28 outside and 65 inside the grill
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